Original Vietnam War North Vietnamese Army Late War “High Dome” Mu Coi Netted Pith Helmet

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a lovely example of a late war pith helmet as worn by the North Vietnamese Army during the Vietnam War. The helmet has a lovely original net and still retains the original badge on the front. The structure is sound and presented without any extensive damage.

The origin of the Vietnam pith helmet (called Mu Coi in Vietnamese) is unclear. It is believed that after the Second World War, the Viet Minh (the pioneering revolutionary force of Vietnam) copied the pith helmet from the former French colonizer and adopted it as its own.

The standard PRC made NVA sun helmet was made of cardboard impregnated with resin with a reed green cotton twill covering glued to the exterior.

The North Vietnamese also wore other types of sun helmets in the North and South.

This helmet has a plastic type sweatband and is in good condition. The cloth came in various colors and materials and often becomes brittle over the decades. Khaki sun helmets were worn throughout the 1950s, 1960s by the NVA but were slowly phased out in favor of the reed green helmet. By 1975 they were not seen much.

Although most NVA wartime sun helmets had leather chinstraps, the chinstrap is the same material as found on NVA made plastic canteen harnesses, consisting of several parallel rows.

Like in wartime helmets this one has all aluminum hardware including the grommets, vent and chinstrap buckle, all present with a lovely oxidation.

When the PRC began to send tens of thousands of cardboard sun helmets to Hanoi, there was not need for these cottage industry helmets to warrant their manufacture.

The net is in wonderful condition and does not appear to be any extensive damage present. The badge on the front has a wonderful aged look to it but does have some paint missing.

A lovely example of a hard to find original NVA pith helmet that comes more than ready for further research and display.

History of the NVA
The Vietnam People's Army (VPA), also known as the Vietnamese People's Army and the People's Army of Vietnam, is the armed forces of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The VPA includes: Ground Force (including Strategic Rear Forces), Navy, Air Force, Vietnam Border Defense Force, and Vietnam Coast Guard. However, Vietnam does not have a specific separate Ground Forces or Army branch. All of the ground troops, army corps, military districts, and specialized arms belong to the Ministry of Defense (Vietnam), directly under command of the Central Military Commission, Minister of Defense, and General Staff (Vietnam People's Army).

During the French Indochina War
(1946-1954), the VPA was often referred to as the Việt Minh. In the context of the Vietnam War (1959-1975), the army was referred to as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA). This allowed writers, the U.S. military, and the general public, to distinguish northern communists from the southern communists, or Viet Cong. However, both groups ultimately worked under the same command structure. According to Hanoi's official history, the Vietcong was a branch of the VPA.

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